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How to Choose Where to Get a New Dog

Updated on January 10, 2013
tillsontitan profile image

Dogs are man's best friend. Mary has been around dogs all her life and loves every breed she's met. You can never go wrong with a dog.

Havanese Puppy - Pepe
Havanese Puppy - Pepe | Source


Just about everybody loves dogs. I know, there are dog people and cat people but I really am a dog person. I like the interactive, cuddly, licking, warm feeling you get from a dog. So, evidently, do you or you wouldn't be reading this.

When you start thinking about a dog, the very first decision is the breed of dog, followed by puppy or dog and/or rescue. There are valid reasons for any and all of those choices. Many people feel they have a better shot with a puppy they can train themselves, others believe an older dog is easier to deal with. There's size of the dog, and whether or not the dog has long hair or short hair. Regardless, you need to know about the place the dog comes from.

Visit the Kennel

Picking up your puppy
Picking up your puppy | Source

Puppies - From Breeders

Puppies are everywhere, or so it seems when you're not looking for one. When you decide to get a dog no one has any puppies! What do you do? Where do you go? Well, computer folk your first and biggest resource is the Internet. Do not, ever, consider a puppy mill dog. Perpetuating the puppy mill by buying dogs from them is just inhumane. These dogs are not properly cared for and are inbred just to keep the money flowing to the store owner! They should be outlawed but unfortunately are not. There are no laws saying how many dogs any place can breed or how long a poor dog can be kept in a cage. There are many groups fighting for dogs and Federal Legislation has finally been passed banning the import of puppy mill puppies from foreign countries but so much more needs to be done.

Some pet stores claim they do not sell puppy mill puppies. Ask them where their puppies come from...the name of the specific breeder for each breed they carry.

Dog breeders now use the Internet to advertise their dogs and their kennels. Different breeders are located in different states throughout the United States and will ship their puppies to you. Very often the price of a flight is contained in the puppies price. If not, the price of the flight is listed separately. Though this is a secondary thought it is good to know.

The very best way to learn about your breeder is to talk to the breeder and visit the breeder. See where the puppies and their mothers are kept. See what really goes on.

Other important things to find out about the breeder:

  • What kind of reputation does the breeder have?
  • Will the breeder give you the names of people who have purchased puppies from them in the past?
  • Are the puppies checked by an accredited vet before being released?
  • Will they take the puppy back at any time in the puppy/dog's life?
  • Do they raise their pups in the house, or outside in a kennel?

Min Pin Puppy


Rescue Dog

With so many more people having dogs and the plight of so many abused and abandoned dogs becoming more and more prevalent, rescuing a dog is not only a humane thing to do for the dog but can be a lifelong reward for you as well. Saving a life is always rewarding. Saving a dog's life gives you benefits as the dog returns that love tenfold.

There are breed specific rescue groups as well as ASPCA's all over the United States. Private veterinarians also offer rescue dogs. Rescue dogs of any age are a risk. You don't know why the dog was rescued so it is especially important to get your dog from a rescue group that is reputable and works with the dog before releasing it for adoption.

There are many reasons dogs wind up in a rescue shelter. Sometimes it is something as simple as a move. The new landlord doesn't allow dogs so they have to give up their dog. Another scenario could be a household member's allergy necessitates giving up the dog. Of course there is the abused dog or the abandoned dog. You need to get as much information about the shelter/group and the dog as you can before making any decisions.

If you go the online route check out what's listed about the dog. Here's an example from;

AUGIE - Amstaff/Australian Shepherd Mix, male, 1 year, ~50 lbs. Augie is one of those dogs whose breed mix is truly a mystery, but one thing we do know - it has resulted in a great dog! He loves people, is good with most dogs, but is too interested in cats to live with them. He rides well in the car. Augie has a moderate amount of energy he needs to burn off each day and then he becomes a couch potato (unless you are doing something and then he want to be involved in what you are doing!) Occasionally he becomes full of the dickens. He is a love bug with humans and likes to give hugs and kisses. He likes to be next to you on the couch and put his head on your lap and occasionally wants to be a lap dog. Augie has a personality that you can’t help but fall in love with. He loves carrying a tennis ball in this mouth, and at one point he was trying to figure out how to carry two balls in his mouth, but he has moved on for now. Click here see more pictures of Augie on

This gives you a good idea of the temperament of the dog and what you are in for.

How to Choose

So, how do you choose? Research, research, research and talk, talk, talk! Research online, look in local newspapers, read to everyone and anyone about dogs, breeders and rescue shelters near where you live. Talk to people who have adopted a rescue dog or recently purchased a puppy or dog. The very most important thing of all is to be sure wherever you get your dog you KNOW they are reputable and care about what they are doing.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved


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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Oh alocsin, that makes me feel so good! Knowing someone might actually benefit from my hub. Thanks for the votes they are appreciated.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      My partner is thinking of getting us a dog. I'll make sure he reads this hub so he can choose the best place to get one. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      You are so right Linda...wouldn't it be grand if we didn't NEED animal shelters?

    • lindacee profile image

      Linda Chechar 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Good job, Mary! This is invaluable information for anyone considering making a dog part of the family! It is an important decision and it makes me sad that many people don't understand the love and life-long responsibility involved in dog ownership -- if they did, we'd have no need for animal shelters.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      It is nice to know that good information is global Vinaya. I think rescuing dogs is the best thing we can do to help our four-legged friends.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      Though you have written this hub for American audience, I believe your advice applies to other countries. I especially like the idea of rescue dog.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks Glimmer. I think this is one of those things we can't say enough. We really need to reach people before they make their decisions and it is too late.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      6 years ago

      Very useful hub here. It is so important to know where to choose the right dog and how to choose the right dog. So many end up in shelters because of poor or uneducated choices. Up and useful.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      So glad you enjoyed Michelle. All animal lovers agree I'm sure.

      Oh Eddy, I know how it can be lonely without those four little legs following you around. The dogs, of course, are family...the last one mine.

      God Bless.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Well what a wonderful hub Mary and all those gorgeous dogs. For hew first time ever I do not have a dog or ant pets actually and oh how I miss the company in the Day. I shall vote up,across and share all around. Have A wonderful day.


    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Hey, Mary, I connected with this right away. As many of our friends would say, and I so agree, that getting one from a pet store isn't good as it supports Puppy Mills that sometimes put poor pups through terrible conditions. I say a reputable breeder, or rescue and adopt one! Thanks for sharing!!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I whole-heartedly agree Denise. It is so tragic to see dogs put to sleep because no one wants them, or knows they are out there!

      tlpoague, sounds like you did the right thing with your Lhasa's. I've said it before, we dog lovers have to stick together and keep lobbying for all dogs! Thanks for the vote.

    • tlpoague profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      When I was searching for a dog for our family, I went to the net. I was leery because I didn't want to get one from a puppy mill. I was fortunate enough to find a breeder that was amazing with her puppies. We adopted our first dog, a Lhasa named Harley. Later I found a mate for him that was a rescue dog, but she didn't fit into the family because of allergies. They had a litter together before I found a home for Missy. We kept one pup and placed the others in good homes.

      I am sicken to see what I would consider "puppy mills" in our area. You could tell that they were in it more for the money than the animal itself. I have even heard that some of our pet stores here sell puppies from puppy mills. I think what you have posted here is information that everyone adopting an animal needs to know. Great job! You have my vote.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Mary-very interesting and useful information. We've taken shelter dogs before. I hate the thought of any animal having to end their lives because no one wants them. Well done. Up/U/I

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Alwaysamber, spoken like a true dog lover!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      btrbell owning a rescue anything is a credit to your person! Thanks for stopping by.

      Thanks for reading and the support Genna, always appreciated, especially when I know I'm on the right track ;)

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      “Do not, ever, consider a puppy mill dog. Perpetuating the puppy mill by buying dogs from them is just inhumane. These dogs are not properly cared for and are inbred just to keep the money flowing to the store owner!”

      This is soo true, and I’m happy you included this. Helpful, knowledgeable, and thoughtful words abound in this gem of a hub. Thank you! :-)

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Great hub and information! I love and have had both cats and dogs. I currently have 4 rescue cats. They have so generously contributed to our quality of life. Thank you for this great hub!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Loved this article. I am true dog lover. I "adopted" my maltese from a lady who no longer wanted her. I look at her everyday and think "who wouldn't want you?" She has the sweetest personality and thinks that she is a human. She loves to play with her toys and absolutely loves being out in the yard. I could never give her away and am so thankful that she found me!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thank you Moonlake.

      MelChi, good for you! More volunteers and more awareness might help stop the abuse of animals...especially things like puppy mills.

      Oh Sunnie, how adopt a pregnant dog AND at Christmas! Bob's right, you are a shining light.

      I guess it doesn't matter which side of the pond you are on Bob, our poor puppies are having a rough time of it. (I TOTALLY agree about Sunnie.)

      I know Carol, dogs and cats both have their own personalities and allow us to be part of their family.

      SG, we've had rescue dogs too and they've always been great. Abused dogs can be tough to get through to. Thanks for the votes!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I hope someday, "puppy mills" are done away with completely! They are such horrible places! Most of our dogs have been rescue dogs in some way or another and I do believe that they dogs are appreciative. You do need to be careful as some may have been abused and may not have the "best of personalities". This is a wonderful hub! Voting up and more! :)

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      6 years ago

      ahhh Bob!...I think she kind of saved me too...:) Those eyes just went right to my heart. Hugs!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Excellent hub for those seeking to get a new pet in the family. I am big on rescue animals. We are cat people and they do come in a variety of personalities. You think of your pets as pets but they really are so different from each other. Great hub with lots of important information. Voting UP and sharing.

    • diogenes profile image


      6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Welcome article. So many puppies and adult dogs are being abandoned in "animal loving" Britain. We have become pond slime in this country: all materialism and convenience.

      Trust Sunnie Day to have done something like that in taking on a pregnant "stranger" just before Christmas. You are a shining light, Sunnie xoxo


    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      6 years ago

      We love our bagle...a pound puppy. Two years ago we found her at our local shelter. She was pregnant with puppies when we got her a week before Christmas..Her name is Christmas "Chrissy" for short. I do think she knows she was rescued. Had five beautiful puppies and found good homes for all. Thank you for a great article. Enjoyed very much.


    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      This was a fantastic article! Maybe I am a little biased because I volunteer occasionally at an animal shelter, so I know what these dogs go through and what they need, but it was so interesting to read your view point on dog breeders as well. I too, think that this cruelty should be banned for good. Thanks for this interesting article!

    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      We got our dog from Craigslist he is a great dog. You are so right about every thing on your hub. Voted up .

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Effer, a misplaced comma or a three letter word certainly throws a wrench...which can land with a thud! That's what makes you so much fun, flying I'm LMAO!

      Bdegiulio, thanks so much...puppy mills make my blood boil! Give our little friends a chance. Eleven years old wow...

      Lindalou I too think dogs know...they have more sense than we do. I love border collies, my husband's family had one for seventeen years.

      Thanks Billy... What a great idea, sometimes a dog may not seem like a perfect fit, but once you get them home you know they are right for you.

      WND you know we share our love for dogs and I can see it runs deep with you too!

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      6 years ago from Alabama

      Definitely get rid of the puppy mills, I agree.

      I also agree dogs know when they are rescued. Their love just radiates.

      The dogs that own me came from the humane society. Guess they owned me already, I just had to find them! And so glad I did.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      TIll I'm sure you figured out that it was my SON...who came in as I sat with my friend.!

      One 3-letter word, can throw a wrench in the whole story!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very important information, Mary, and I agree with you completely. We have always gone to the dog shelter for our dogs; the local one even lets you take a dog home for a "trial period" which I have found very helpful.

    • lindalou1963 profile image


      6 years ago from Texas

      'They' say a rescue dog knows they have been rescued, and I believe that's true. I adopted Annie 2 years ago. She is a border collie mix and is the most lovable thing ever. She loves people, even little kids! She doesn't care what you do to her... brush her, use her for a pillow... doesn't matter, just give her attention.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Mary. We too are dog people and our eleven year old Shih Tzu is a member of our family. Your hub is a great read for anyone considering adding to their family. Your advice to avoid the puppy mills is spot on as these places are in business not for the love of dogs but for the love of the almighty dollar.

      Great job. Voting up and Sharing.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Precise and valuable info on this topic Til! I'm with you on all counts.

      BTW, gf...This reminds of a story....are you ready?

      One day as I sat over coffee, chatting with a came in, said,"Hello," and went immediately to....where else? The fridge! I continued on with the conversation...."I'm not sure about my kids, Nancy. If I could do it all over again, I might do it all differently and go elsewhere for them. I love them dearly, but I wonder how I don't kill them sometimes......they're so spoiled and sassy.....and I'm sure it's their nature, but there are times I could just give them away!"

      My son looked at me, in total shock and disgust...and said, "MOM!"

      I said, "Oh honey, I wasn't talking about you and your brothers, I'm referring to Taz & Toby!"........ROFLMAO!.......UP+++


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